The Covid-19 pandemic presented many challenges the past two summers; but, in a unique way, it allowed us the opportunity to make large-scale, changes to our program. One of our most drastic changes was our opening day schedule and procedure.
As our campers’ families could not enter main camp, we had a drop off points around our soccer field where family cars would stop at “stations” to check-in. In addition to assigned camper arrival times, we separated each step as much as possible to ensure the line kept moving and not one staff member was overwhelmed with duties.
What were the positive outcomes? While families could not get out of their cars, this shifted the bulk of responsibility for camper setup from the families to the cabin counselors. This opportunity allowed for our staff to forge a more immediate connection with campers and gave them opportunity to bond.
What are things to consider? It is important to note that as our camp has a significant returning camper population, the campers were familiar enough with camp programming for this procedure to work. On the flip side, our new camper families did not see the beauty of camp or the facilities unless they were able to tour our facility in the off season.
Many of our families enjoyed the swift and efficient process. As a camp, we are strongly considering using this procedure even if less restrictive Covid-19 procedures are put in place.